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I'm fairly new to using a hand plane and I've run into situation that seemed funny at first, but is getting a little more irritating. For whatever reason, the nice, long curly shavings I'm taking have developed an affinity for the tool. So, instead of dropping on the floor or in the trash bin when I remove them from the plane, they'll travel up to a foot to lodge right back on the tool.

This didn't always happen. I started noticing it more after I'd built my first shooting board. I'd used a small amount of wax on the sole of the plane and on the board itself to lessen friction. I don't know if the setup of the shooting board contributed to the static problem.

Is there a way I could "ground"/discharge the plane occasionally when I notice this happening? I've read suggestions for preventing a charge buildup on the body (rubber shoes, etc.) but not sure how to prevent the tool from attracting the shavings.

Thanks for any help.

FOLLOWUP INFORMATION I'm in a very dry climate (Arizona) but thinking about it later, the problem occurred during a period where the humidity was higher. The problem has since disappeared. I'm planing a lot of pine.

I'd built the shooting board with plywood, except for the 90-degree fence which is oak. It took me a fair amount of work to get the oak end grain flush with the base on setup, so maybe that amount of planing was a factor.

I know this is mostly an inconsequential question (but you'll notice if it happens to you!), and I appreciate the patience of responders.

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    I'm not going to add an Answer as yet because I don't really know what's going on and of a sure-fire way to reduce the problem. I dimension purely by hand so I use hand planes all the time but I don't experience static cling much. It does happen now and again and the finer the shavings the more prone they are to this naturally. But I've never noticed why it was particularly prevalent one time and not another. I suspect that the resin content of the wood has something to do with it (hard resins can build a static charge but I don't know if the resins in wood can do the same). [contd] – Graphus supports Monica Nov 21 '16 at 19:39
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    Have you noticed if you get it more with some woods than others or are you just planing the one species? "Is there a way I could "ground"/discharge the plane occasionally when I notice this happening?" I suppose some of the same tricks that can be used to ground in other contexts would work here but that's just a guess. So you could touch metal with your hand with the plane held in your other hand, or just touch the plane itself to some metal. – Graphus supports Monica Nov 21 '16 at 19:42
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    Note that humidity in the shop or moisture in the wood will affect this, by letting the charge bleed off. – keshlam Nov 21 '16 at 21:30
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    Not inconsequential at all, if this was happening a lot it could seriously hamper the work flow and hand planing is already not a fast way to prepare stock. Not to mention it's just annoying haha. – Graphus supports Monica Nov 22 '16 at 7:56
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    Maybe try using a dryer sheet, and rub it on the tool periodically. This works for plastic face shields and safety glasses also... – RDaniels34 Nov 26 '16 at 14:52
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I've never heard of this before, but in theory what you need to do is create a conductive path from your plane to a ground.

What I would do is wear a grounding footstrap so that your body is grounded, then make sure to have regular skin-to-plane body contact.

If this doesn't work then I might consider putting a ring terminal onto the plane, perhaps using the screw that holds the handle in place, then running a bare wire from that along the tote so that you have a constant skin-to-plane connection.

If that doesn't work either, then you could run a wire from the ring terminal to a grounding rod or the ground prong of a household outlet, but that seems like overkill to me personally.

  • A bit of advice, from the electronic world where static can kill some circuits and ground straps are a standard tool: A workable ground strap can be thrown together from a bit of beaded metal chain (the stuff you might use for a lamp pull switch) and a connector for that to make a wrist loop, wire from that to a 1 Meg Ohm resistor, and a wire from the other side of that resistor to an alligator clip you can clamp to an available ground. Do not leave out the resistor -- it's there to limit current so this setup doesn't increase your risk of electrocution should you bump into a live wire. – keshlam Nov 25 '16 at 3:25

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